July 28, 2016 Reading Time: 2 minutes
Reading Time: 2 min read
India grants loan for railway sector
The Indian government has facilitated a loan of USD 318 million for the development of Sri Lanka’s railway system, raising its total loans to Sri Lanka to USD 1.28 billion.
The loan, provided through the Export Import Bank of India, will be used to purchase rolling stock, upgrade the railway line from Maho to Anuradhapura, and develop the railway line from Anuradhapura to Omanthai.
ADB approves loan for electricity sector
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has commissioned a loan of USD 115 million and grants amounting to USD 3.8 million to help Sri Lanka achieve 100% electrification.
Mukhtor Khamudkhanov, an ADB Principal Energy Specialist, stated that the loan and grants will target areas whose electricity needs have not been met, by upgrading to medium voltage networks, rolling out low voltage line extensions, and constructing hybrid renewable energy mini-grids.
China requests land for economic zone
The Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama, has stated that the Chinese government has requested 15,000 acres of land in Sri Lanka for the creation of a special economic zone. The proposed special economic zone is expected to create an estimated 1 million jobs.
If permission is granted by the government, land will be allocated from the Hambantota region. A Chinese delegation will visit Sri Lanka from 9-10 August to discuss the proposal.
EU triggers ‘rule-of-law mechanism’ against Poland
The European Commission has given the Polish government three months to guarantee the independence of its Constitutional Tribunal. The EU has accused Poland of politicising the Constitutional Tribunal and curbing media freedom.
Following its victory in the 2015 elections, the conservative Law and Justice government in Poland has rewritten the rules governing the Tribunal, stopped publishing its rulings, and replaced its judges. Failure to meet the deadline could lead to EU sanctions, including the suspension of Poland’s voting rights.
Japan unveils stimulus package
The Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has announced that an economic stimulus package of USD 266 billion will be provided to boost Japan’s economy. The package includes provisions for fiscal measures and infrastructure development.
The economic stimulus package is in response to the UK’s decision to leave the EU, which is expected to have a negative impact on Japan’s economy.
Palestine to sue the UK
At the Arab League summit in Mauritania, the Foreign Minister of Palestine, Riad Malki, has announced plans to file a lawsuit in an international court against Britain over the 1917 Balfour Declaration.
The Declaration envisioned a Jewish homeland in Palestine, and resulted in the migration of hundreds of thousands of Jews into the region. The UK is yet to respond to this statement.